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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

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LeMoine rivals Hallmark with Milwaukee cards


Monica LeMoine admits that one of the greatest things about being a teacher is having her summers free. Not because she wants to sleep late and watch Dr. Phil (well, maybe once in a blue moon) rather because the time off allows her to paint and work on her side business.

LeMoine recently launched MML Designs from her Hamilton Street home. MML is a one-woman business offering hand-designed cards and matte-framed prints focusing on Milwaukee street scenes and landmarks like St. Hedwig's on Brady Street, the North Avenue water tower and an old Schlitz sign in Riverwest.

"I was inspired to paint the particular Milwaukee scenes on my cards because those scenes are a part of my everyday life, and because those scenes capture the unique character of Milwaukee," says LeMoine, 28.

LeMoine paints with watercolor or pastel, and her style is colorful and fun with a folk art feel. The cards cost $2.75 or come in sets of eight for $13.75.

LeMoine teaches K-8 remedial reading for at-risk students at Woodson Academy, a Choice School on North Avenue and 11th Street. She received a BA in French at Virginia Tech in 1998 and later served two-and-a-half years in Peace Corps Uzbekistan, where she met her husband, Kevin. She will begin an MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) part-time this fall at UWM.

For now, she's focusing on painting and building MML Designs.

"Locals and tourists looking to take home that perfect 'piece of Milwaukee' now have an alternative to plastic motorcycle magnets," she says.

Products are available at local boutiques Dragonfly and Vieux et Nouveau, East and West Town Farm Markets.

MML Design's Web site is mmldesigns.com.

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